The Fire HD Kids Edition - dummies

By Nancy C. Muir

New in 2014 is a Fire HD Kids Edition with a rugged case for those tiny hands to grip and several kid-friendly features parents will love. Sporting pink, blue, or green cases, these Fire tablets are geared toward having fun and learning.

Price and replacement guarantee

The Kids Edition has all the basic features of the comparable 6- and 7-inch Fire non-kid tablets, including a quad-core processor and front- and rear-facing cameras. The screen offers high-definition quality, and the Dolby sound makes listening to audiobooks or watching video a great experience.

Besides the rugged case, the Fire HD Kids Edition, priced at $149, has a two-year replacement guarantee. That means that if your child breaks the tablet, it will be replaced without question, which is a pretty sweet deal.

The Kids Edition comes in either 6- or 7-inch versions with 8GB of storage. Each is a fully functioning tablet, though by using Parental Controls, you can set pretty specific limits as to what content, apps, and purchasing power your child has access to.

You might want to consider two accessories that are available from Amazon for the Kids Edition. You can buy the Kids Headphone from Amazon at $29.99 in blue, orange, or purple. The color-matched car charger ($24.99) is great for those long road trips when you want to keep your kids amused for the duration.

Free year of FreeTime Unlimited

FreeTime Unlimited is a subscription service providing age-appropriate content for kids. When you buy a Kids Fire tablet, you get one free year of FreeTime Unlimited. After that, a year’s subscription will cost you $4.99 a month for one child or $2.99 a month for Prime members. You can also opt to spend $9.99 a month for up to four children or $6.99 if you have Amazon Prime.

Note that you can subscribe to FreeTime Unlimited on any Fire tablet model and navigate into FreeTime Unlimited with a password so your kids can’t open it without your permission, if you like.

FreeTime Unlimited offers about 5,000 kid-friendly books, music, movies, TV shows, educational apps, and games with easy visual navigation. I found two statements from Amazon about the best age range for FreeTime Unlimited: for kids ages 3 to 8 or 3 to 10; however, you should still use your best judgment about your own child’s interests and maturity.

FreeTime Unlimited has fun background colors and fonts that appeal to younger kids. In addition, FreeTime Unlimited has no ads and no in-app purchases.

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Coming soon is a FreeTime Unlimited camera and photo apps with some fun editing tools. Parents can even print out their kids’ art and hang it in the appropriate spot on the refrigerator or wall.

If your family members devour lots of content, consider paying $9.99 a month for Kindle Unlimited. With this subscription, you can pick and choose from over 700,000 book titles and thousands of audiobooks.